Senior school


​​​​​​​​​​​Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system

From 2020, the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) replaces the Overall Position (OP) as the standard pathway to tertiary study for Queensland Year 12s.

Key features of the system include:

  • new and redeveloped QCAA senior syllabuses
  • external assessment in most senior subjects
  • quality assurance processes to strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
  • changes to QCE eligibility requirements
  • the introduction of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Resources available

The Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority (QCAA) has a webpage dedicated to brochures and fact sheets containing all of the relevant information.  This can be accessed via the QCAA website.

The Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre (QTAC) also has a webpage dedicated to the ATAR.  It includes a white paper about inter-subject scaling amongst other resources. This can be accessed via the QTAC website.

Senior Course Guide

The 2023 Senior Course Guide (PDF,  2.90MB) provides an overview of subjects offered for students in Year 9 in 2023 (Year 12 in 2026). 

Year 10 Curriculum

The Year 10 curriculum provides a link between the Junior and Senior school, helping students to succeed in Year 11 and 12.

​Senior School Studies Policy

The Senior School Studies Policy (PDF, 192KB)​​​ has been developed to ensure students are successful in their Senior years at State High. It has been designed so that students and parents understand the academic requirements of students, including the prerequisites that need to be met for progression into Year 11. 

Senior Success Conversations & SET Plan

During Year 9, students undertake Senior Success Conversations to support their transition into Senior School. In Year 10, students undertake a Senior Education and Training (SET) Plan review to update and finalise their learning plans. These experiences help students to make important decisions about their future education, training and employment. In 2019, Year 9 students and their parents/guardians attended a Senior Success Conversation in Week 10 of Term 4, 2019. Dates for Senior Success Conversations for current Year 9 students will be made available in Term 2. 

Year 11 and 12 Curriculum

After completing their Year 10 Preparation subjects, students enter range of learning options that contribute to them achieving a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority makes syllabus materials and resources available for students to access on the QCAA website.

At the end of Year 12, eligible students will be issued with Senior Education Profile (SEP) by the QCAA, which includes the following: 

Senior Statement

The Senior Statement is a transcript of a student’s learning account. The Senior Statement shows all QCE-contributing studies and the results achieved that may contribute to the award of a QCE. 

Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) 

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is Queensland's senior school qualification, which is awarded to eligible students, usually at the end of Year 12.  


Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA)

The Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) recognises the achievements of students who are on individualised learning programs. To be eligible, students must have impairments or difficulties in learning that are not primarily due to socioeconomic, cultural or linguistic factors.

The QCAA provides the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre (QTAC) with information about student achievement so that the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) can be calculated.

The Senior Course Guide provides detailed information about these study options.

Year 11 Report Card Information


All Year 11 and 12 students study 1 English and 1 Mathematics subject. They also choose four other subjects.  

To be eligible for an ATAR, students must undertake at least five subjects, four of which are general subjects, over two years. Students can include either applied or Vocational Education certificate (Certificate III or higher) subjects in their total of six, and still be ATAR-eligible. 

General subjects

Subjects currently offered at State High are:

  • Accounting 
  • Ancient History 
  • Biology 
  • Business
  • Chemistry 
  • Chinese 
  • Dance 
  • Drama 
  • Design 
  • Digital Solutions 
  • Economics 
  • Engineering
  • English 
  • Literature 
  • English and Literature Extension (Year 12 only) 
  • Film, Television and New Media 
  • French 
  • Geography 
  • German
  • Graphics 
  • Health Education 
  • Italian 
  • Japanese 
  • Legal Studies 
  • Mathematics (General) 
  • Mathematical Methods 
  • Specialist Mathematics 
  • Modern history 
  • Music 
  • Music extension (Year 12 only) 
  • Philosophy and reason 
  • Physical education 
  • Physics 
  • Psychology 
  • Spanish 
  • Visual Art 

Applied subjects and Vocational Education Certificates

Applied subjects have a more practical orientation than general subjectsVocational Education and Training subjects allow students to attain TAFE qualifications These subjects can contribute to an ATAR (refer above). 

School-based vocational subjects currently offered: 

  • Certificate II in Active Volunteering 
  • Certificate II Engineering Pathways – Manufacturing  
  • Certificate II in Furniture Making Pathways ​ 
  • Certificate III in Business 
  • Certificate III / IV in Fitness 
  • Certificate IV in Crime and Justice Studies 
  • Diploma of Business 
  • Creative arts—music studies 
  • Essential English 
  • Essential Mathematics 

Completing senior study over three y​ears

If a student wishes to apply to complete their senior study over three years, a letter of application must be written to the Executive Principal explaining all extenuating circumstances behind the application.

Contact the Heads of Year for 10, 11 or 12 for more information.

Vocational education

Students in Year 11 and 12 can also undertake an external certificate qualification as a part of their Senior pathway.  

These include:

  • VET certificate II or higher qualifications through an approved provider (e.g. TAFE Queensland) 
  • school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SAT) 
  • attending registered training organisations (RTO) 
  • work experience.  

These are available to all Year 11 and 12 students. In some cases, Year 10 students can access these pathways. 

Read more about vocational education

Last reviewed 21 June 2023
Last updated 21 June 2023